Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Reading Through the Bible as a Family: week #11

We are still in Numbers.  

While a good portion of it seems to discuss the various offerings and the Lord's detailed instructions to the children of Israel, this book is still rich in fascinating examples of the importance of obedience.

This week we read the passage in chapter 16 where the Lord caused the earth  to open up and swallow an entire group of people and their possessions.  Why?  Lack of obedience.

In chapter 20, we saw even Moses was severely punished for not following the Lord's instructions in speaking to the rock for it to give them water.  Our family had a discussion on this last night.  God had given Moses the authority to simply speak to a rock and make it give water.  Today, we can't help but think how awesome that would be!  I feel for Moses here.  I really do.  He had the children of Israel coming at him, yet again, talking about how much better things were when they were back in Egypt (in bondage), and they wanted to know why God chose His people to come to that place to die!  Again, the children of Israel had found security in bondage... (which will be a post for another day.)  Moses had to be weary from all the grumbling and complaining.  God told him to go to the rock and speak to it to receive the water they all so desperately were seeking.

Why would Moses choose to hit the rock twice instead of simply speaking to it?  What would I have done in this situation?    In the reading we know that the people are already questioning if Moses and Aaron are really men of God.  I would assume Moses knew he was being watched with a critical eye.  Talking to a rock?  That might not have made him too popular; however, you would have thought he would have earned all credibility with the water. (But they didn't really ask my opinion.) Another thought might be Moses was simply frustrated with the people.  Hitting the rock quite honestly could have come natural if Moses let the children of Israel get the best of him.

So, why did God punish Moses so harshly for hitting the rock twice instead of speaking to it?  The Lord gives us his answer in verse 12.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
God had a plan to use that to show His glory to the children of Israel in a time when they desperately needed it.  Because of this, Moses and Aaron were not allowed into the Promised Land.

How many times have I been guilty of this same offense?  How many times have I done something my own way instead of the Lord's way when others needed to see God's glory at a most crucial time? Sometimes we may justify our actions by saying, "I can do it this way and get the same results."
Forgive me Father, when I have done things my way and not yours!   We often do not realize the impact our actions have on others.

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